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Click to see full-size!Here's an anonymous 10.2" Windows 7 Tablet PC with 1.66GHz Atom Processor for "only" $420, and another Acer 10.1-Inch Tablet for "only" $498. And prices go up from there, to well over $1,000 for a "Win-tab." What's With Windows? Why are these tablets pricing themselves out of the market?

These Windows tablets may be competing with the Apple iPad, but starting this month they're losing out to the Amazon Fire tablet at $199 and the B&N Nook tablet at $249, each tying in the customers to their customized Android OS linked to their respective app stores, or the Kobo Vox tablet at $199 that takes on the Kindle Fire and Nook Color tablets, and runs on a stock Android "Gingerbread" OS that will be updated to "Ice Cream Sandwich" when it's ready. This means the Kobo tablet can run not only Kobo's e-book app, but all Android apps (which you can't do on the Amazon Fire or B&N Nook) as well as Amazon's and B&N's e-book apps. How's that for a smart strategy? Each of these three vendors also have "plain vanilla" black and white e-book readers starting at $99.

Most computer problems are caused by a loose nut between the chair and the keyboard.

Clearly, Microsoft and Apple are aiming at the upscale market where the profit margins are greater. Currently all combined Windows tablet sales lag far behind Apple's iPad sales. Microsoft killed their promising two-screen tablet project with a non-standard OS just as Apple was introducing the iPad. Well, what was Microsoft thinking, anyway? They are hard at work developing Windows 8, due sometime next year, that will be tablet- and touchscreen-oriented and run Web-based apps, and still be able to run traditional Windows PC applications. The Windows Phone 6.5 OS, dubbed "Mango," is a foretaste of Windows 8, with its tiled user interface. Microsoft, however, might get there too late, "after the train has left the station."

Although laptop and desktop PCs may seem outdated, there are many, many more millions of PC users in the world who are married to their "legacy" Windows applications than there are tablet users of all brands. Also, many people who have an Android smartphone or an iPad tablet also own a Windows PC, and know how difficult it is to transfer information between these devices. Microsoft's strategy is to provide an integrated ecosystem between PCs, tablets and smartphones in which information and applications are all compatible. At various times in the past, Microsoft has been "behind the curve," but has bought or built software and hardware that - due to Microsoft's deep pockets - have later conquered the market. They often let other, smaller technology firms innovate, "throw things at the wall and see what sticks," then Microsoft buys the technology that catches on, or builds something like it. That may be a smart strategy too... we shall see!

Following up on our last two issues comparing the world's two leading technology geeks, here's a good article on them; Idolize Bill Gates, Not Steve Jobs.

Click on Online PC Support for our worldwide help   &   Offsite Backup Services for securing your files!

You may remeber the flaps about electronic voting machines possibly being "hacked" during recent elections. The manufacturers counter by saying their machines are protected by physical locks and keys as well as data encryption. But the article "Hotel Minibar" Keys Open Diebold Voting Machines explains that the standard keys can be easily bought on the Internet, and the encryption uses a standard software key: "Using such a standard key doesn't provide much security, but it does allow Diebold to assert that their design uses a lock and key. Experts will recognize the same problem in Diebold's use of encryption - they can say they use encryption, but they use it in a way that neutralizes its security benefits. The bad guys don't care whether you use encryption; they care whether they can read and modify your data. They don't care whether your door has a lock on it; they care whether they can get it open. The checkbox approach to security works in press releases, but it doesn't work in the field." Duh!

The goal of our CN.Net-News is to share information that we think you'll find helpful as you wrestle with that little monster on your desk or at your side, your computer. And we aim to present this information from a Christian worldview. Thanks for your time!

Best regards,

"Dr. Bob the CompuNerd"

Robert D hoskEN
See the "nerd" in my name? (It helps if you're a little dyslexic!)
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